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Thursday 16 September 2021
HomeNewsKenya's Amina Mohamed formally launches campaign for top WTO post

Kenya’s Amina Mohamed formally launches campaign for top WTO post

Kenya’s candidate for the post of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General, Amina Mohamed, will launch her campaign for the top global post in Nairobi Tuesday, the foreign ministry said here.

Kenya’s foreign Minister Sam Ongeri said the diplomat, currently serving as the deputy director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), will host a number of foreign diplomats at the launch of the campaigns.

Ambassador Mohamed was nominated by the Kenyan Government to seek appointment to the position of Director-General of the WTO.

A former Kenyan ambassador to the UN, she was appointed to her position by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon in April 2011.

The election of an African candidate could play an important role in soothing the divisions over a fair global trading pact following years of political deadlock over the Doha Round of Talks.

African countries have been keen on the completion of the Doha Round due to the immense hope it portends for balancing the trade by removing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Specifically, the Doha Development Round has been supported by poor countries, including those in Africa, which believe it would help to create a fair global trading environment with the removal of agricultural subsidies.

Those agricultural subsidies are seen as slowing down global trade by making it impossible for all countries to sell their produce in rich countries whose farmers receive millions in dollars worth of subsidies.

West African countries, relying on global cotton exports, have for a long time complained over the subsidies which make it easier for the other farmers to sell off their produce cheaply.

Kenya, whose ministers of trade have been involved in the efforts to unlock the global trade gridlock with the hosting of a mini-ministerial session in the past to unlock the DDA deadlock, fronted Amina late December.

The nominations for the top post closed late December, with nine candidates, among them, a Ghanaian.

The election could be decided by who would be seen as favoured between the US and the European Union as capable of breaking the 10-year-long deadlock over a fair trading pact.

Besides the trade and agricultural issues on the table, the winner of the election would have to favour the EU, which is keen on having the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with Africa.

Kenya and its East African Community (EAC) partners initiated the agreement in 2007, but a substantive pact is yet to be signed.

The African Union put an official freeze on the EPA negotiations, which has been marketed as a WTO compliant pact because the Everything But Arms agreement, which allows duty free access to the EU, is seen as being against the WTO efforts of opening up markets and removing barriers.

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